Holly Robinson Peete shares family's fight with autism

April is National Autism Awareness month and according to a recent study, more than 650,000 American children have some form of autism. The ramifications of the disease can cause tremendous emotional and financial strain on a family.

When Rodney Jr, the son of former professional football player Rodney Peete and his wife, actress Holly Robinson Peete, was diagnosed with autism, their world was turned upside down.

Just before Rodney Jr’s and his twin sister, Ryan’s second birthday, everything changed.

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“The smiles, the responding to his name, those types of things he didn’t do anymore,” said the former NFL player.

“He had no more eye contact with his twin sister, with us, all that disappeared, his first word disappeared,” added Holly.

It was a frightening and confusing time for the Peetes, and after meeting with a specialist, they got the news no parent ever wants to hear.

Rodney Jr was diagnosed with autism.

He was then enrolled in a special school and began working with therapists, but socially he struggled.